NFL to change overtime format for playoffs?

The NFL is considering a change of its overtime format for future playoff games.


Under the new format, both teams would get the ball at least once unless the first team to get the ball scores a touchdown, Greg Aiello said. If the first team to get the ball makes a field goal and the other team ties the game, action would continue until a team scores again.

The debate about the rules gained steam after the NFC championship game, when New Orleans beat Minnesota 31-28 in overtime and Brett Favre’s Vikings never got the ball in the extra period. Under the proposed rule, Minnesota would have gotten another possession because the Vikings didn’t allow a touchdown.

John Paulsen and I recently debated what the best way would be to revamp the NFL overtime system, which you can check out here. He likes the idea of a blind auction, which would certainly be fair for both sides and add more intrigue than the coin toss. I wrote that I would be all for it as long as the process didn’t turn into a game show at midfield.

That said, I’m also fine with a coin toss. Is it thrilling? No. Is it fair that one team can win without the other team even touching the ball? Probably not. But it’s simple and it’s tradition. The game is the thrilling part – I don’t need anything more elaborate than a coin toss to determine which team gets the ball first. And if more defenses rose to the challenge and stopped their opponent from scoring (which is the whole point of a defense in the first place) on the first possession in the extra quarter, then we might not be having this debate at all.

If the NFL wants to change its overtime format, then I won’t be appalled or angry. But just make a decision and be done with it, because this is beginning to be a tired topic. I have a bigger issue with the fact that it took Brett Favre not getting a possession in last year’s NFC title game for the league to sit down and talk about a rule change. Why doesn’t the NFL just change its name to the Brett Favre League and be done with it. The “BFL” it is.

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Three things NFL teams do that infuriate me

I love the NFL.

I mean, I love the NFL. If it were at all possible, I would go out to Jared, purchase a ring, take the NFL out for a lovely dinner, drop to a knee and ask the NFL to marry me.

That said, there are three things that NFL teams do that absolutely infuriate me. All 32 teams have done these three things throughout the years and continue to do them on a weekly basis. And if you’re a fan of the NFL, there’s no doubt your favorite team has done these three things, as well.

1. Choose to receive the ball when they win the coin toss
This absolutely chaps my hide because it’s an ego thing for teams. They want the ball first because they want to “set the tone” and have the mentality that they can take their opening drive and shove it down their opponents’ throat.

But how many times as a fan have you heard a player, coach or announcer say, “Football is a game of emotion?” Hundreds, probably. So why, oh why, do teams win the coin toss and chose to receive? If football is a game of emotion and defense is all about emotion, why not put them on the field first? They’re rested, pumped up and if they force the opponent to punt, your team not only has momentum and field position, but you also get the ball back at halftime.

I understand why teams chose to receive first; among other reasons, they believe they can get the first score and seize momentum. But even if they do score first, the opposing team still has almost four full quarters to swing momentum back in their favor and either tie or capture the lead.

Wade PhillipsOne of the smartest things I saw in Week 3 come in the Dallas-Green Bay Sunday night game. Head coach Wade Phillips and his Cowboys were on the road and playing in a hostile environment. When they won the coin toss, they took advantage of a new league rule that allows teams to defer to the second half, meaning Dallas chose to get the ball at halftime. So, they put their defense on the field first, forced a fumble and eventually wound up taking a 3-0 lead. At halftime, the ‘Boys led 13-6 and had the luxury of getting the ball back in the second half. Granted they didn’t get any points in their first possession of the third quarter, but at least they had the opportunity to extend the lead. And let’s say the score was reversed and Green Bay had a 13-6 lead, at least the Cowboys would have had the chance to tie it early in the third quarter because they chose to defer to the second half. Not every team is going to force a fumble on their opponents’ first possession, but a three and out and punt can have the same affect.

Read the rest after the jump...

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